6 Best Printers (Below $400) To Buy For Your Work-From-Home Office

Best home printer Singapore

For many employees, a home printer would make their work much easier. Whatever you normally print in the office, a home printer lets you print during WFH – rather than having to head to a printing shop all the time. 

Read Also: Buying A Printer Or Printing From Shops: Which Should You Choose While Working From Home

Type Of Printers: Inkjet VS Ink Tank VS LED Printers

Inkjet printers use ink to operate, and are good for printing image-heavy documents. They suit employees looking for high-quality results, and who print a lot of graphics. Inkjet printers are usually preferred by home users and small offices.

One of the main features of the Ink Tank printer is that the Ink Tank can be topped up with liquid ink that generally costs cheaper than the traditional cartridge. For example, Challenger sells Epson ink bottles for just $9.90. In contrast, the price range for the ink cartridges Challenger carries is between $16.00 to $76.40 (accurate as of 11 July 2021). The idea is to avoid paying for expensive cartridges. 

Laser printers use toner cartridges instead. They are generally quieter and have a faster printing speed than Ink Tank printers. Busy offices and larger businesses mean higher print volumes, so they often choose laser printers for their business-focused features, such as advanced security features, large replacement supply yields and optional trays for additional capacity.

LED printers are virtually identical to laser printers, except that LED printers have fewer moving parts. Therefore, they have the potential to be cheaper, faster and more reliable than laser. 

When choosing a printer, you would typically look at speed – the ppm (pages per minute) and ipm (images per minute). Today, most printers come with basic functions such as doubling up as scanners for your documents and wireless connection.

Below are 6 colour printers that can make your Work-From-Home arrangement much more pleasant and productive.

Read also: 5 Computer Monitors & Screens (Under $250) To Enhance Your Work-From-Home Experience

#1 Canon MAXIFY MB5170

Price: $389

Printing method: Inkjet

Printing speed: Up to 32.5 ppm

Maximum Input capacity: 250 sheets

Maximum output capacity: 75 sheets

Dimensions (W x D x H): 463 x 394 x 291 mm

Weight: 11.4 kg

Canon MAXIFY MB5170
Source: Canon

The Canon Maxify MB5170 can cut your scanning time in half. The Single Pass Two-Sided Auto Document Feeder (ADF) feature printing both sides of your documents simultaneously. You also get at least 50% ink savings with Canon’s genuine PGI-2700XL ink cartridges. This printer saves you time, money and resources, while giving you a surplus of connectivity options (and none of them involve a router!)

With MAXIFY Cloud Link, you can connect to Dropbox, Mopria, Google Drive, Apple AirPrint and OneDrive. On the mobile front, the MAXIFY Printing Solutions App lets you print from your Android/ iOS devices.

#2 Brother MFC-J491DW Inkjet Printer

Price: $198

Printing method: Inkjet

Printing speed: Up to 12ipm

Maximum Input capacity: 120 sheets

Maximum output capacity: 50 sheets

Dimensions (W x D x H): 400 x 341 x 172 mm

Weight: 8.3 kg

Brother MFC-J491DW Inkjet Printer
Source: Brother

The Brother MFC-J491DW Inkjet Printer makes two-sided printing hands free — no page flipping and reinsertion needed. The 20-sheet Automatic Document Feeder has the same aim of saving you hassle. You can print/ scan directly to the cloud services of Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, Mopria, EverNote, Box and more. Alternatively, you could use the Brother Cloud App. Of course, its sub-$200 price tag does not hurt either.

The control panel, too, scores points for ease of use. Arrow directional keys, alphanumeric keys, feature keys and colour-labeled function keys are lit up and placed intuitively, so fret not about having to memorise arbitrary button patterns.

Read Also: Work-From-Home (Again): 5 Best Office Chairs From $149.90 To Improve Your Posture

#3 HP OfficeJet Pro 8020 All-in-One Printer

Price: $269

Printing method: Ink Tank

Printing speed: Up to 29 ppm

Maximum Input capacity: 225 sheets

Maximum output capacity: 60 sheets

Dimensions (W x D x H): 460 x 341.2 x 234 mm

Weight: 8.2 kg

HP OfficeJet Pro 8020 All-in-One Printer
Source: HP

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8020 All-in-One Printer comes with fancy dual band wireless connectivity and smooth integration with the cloud. Printing can be voice-activated, thanks to compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant. Save even more time and hassle with the 2.65” touchscreen display, which comes in a full-colour design (with high contrast) for high visibility. That is in contrast to the monochrome display of many printers.

If you want a particular printing preset for your documents (maybe you need them printed on both sides or on templates), you can create that preset. In all printing sessions from then on, all you have to do to activate/ deactivate that preset is hit a button dedicated to your customised printing preset. That button is called a macro, and it lets you skip the repetition of keying in the same printing preset over and over each time you need your documents printed a certain way.

#4 Epson L5190 Wi-Fi All-in-One Ink Tank Printer with ADF

Price: $399

Printing method: Ink Tank

Printing speed: Up to 10 ipm

Maximum input capacity: 100 sheets

Maximum output capacity: 30 sheets

Dimensions (W x D x H): 375 x 347 x 237 mm

Weight: 5kg

Epson L5190 Wi-Fi All-in-One Ink Tank Printer with ADF
Source: Courts

Despite the cheap refilling costs as mentioned above, the Epson L5190 Wi-Fi All-in-One Ink Tank Printer with ADF does not compromise in printing resolution. Print quality comes at a remarkable 5760 x 1400 dpi, or dots per inch.

Even if your WFH workspace is in a separate room from your printer, a host of connectivity features overcome the distance for your printing needs. Epson Connect lets you use any of six applications for wireless printing. You have Epson iPrint for printing/ scanning to online cloud storage services, and Epson Email Print for emails. Remote Print Driver allows you to print to any Internet-connected Epson printer in the world via your PC. Your other mobile solutions are Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. 

Beyond the applications, the L5190 brings you Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Wi-Fi Direct lets you connect up to eight devices without a router!

#5 Brother HL-L3270CDW

Price: $328

Printing method: LED

Printing speed: Up to 25 ppm

Maximum input capacity: 150 sheets

Maximum output capacity: 150 sheets

Dimensions (W x D x H): 439 x 461 x 252 mm

Weight: 18.5kg

Brother HL-L3270CDW
Source: Brother

The Brother HL-L3270CDW comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet, so you can share the printer with multiple family members on your network. You can activate NFC (Near Field Communication) on your phone in integration with the printer’s NFC reader — with one effortless tap, you can wirelessly print documents from your phone. The Brother iPrint&Scan mobile app makes sure of that.

At 18.5kg, Brother HL-L3270CDW has some considerable heft to it. That increases if you load as much printing paper as this model accommodates.

#6 HP Colour Laser MFP 178nw

Price: $339

Printing method: Laser

Printing speed: Up to 19 cpm (copies per minute)

Maximum Input capacity: 150 sheets

Maximum output capacity: 50 sheets

Dimensions (W x D x H): 406 x 363 x 288.7 mm

Weight: 12.94 kg

HP Colour Laser MFP 178nw
Source: HP

The HP Colour Laser MFP 178nw has a monthly duty cycle (maximum printing output) of up to 20,000 A4 pages. If that sounds fearsome, this printer’s connectivity is robust enough to be cross-platform. That applies to Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, and HP Smart App (not to mention Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi and Ethernet). The HP Smart App, in particular, lets you integrate Smart Tasks with your mobile, which includes scanning documents with your phone camera. 

Additionally, the Smart App lets you create and save Smart Tasks (shortcuts to perform repetitive functions) which include such as scanning to email, the cloud, the printer or a multiple destinations at the same time. The printer’s on-board website also allows configuration; you can cut costs by restricting access to features, like colour printing. You can monitor usage and set up/ execute functions efficiently.

Read also: Buyers Guide: 5 Gadgets Under $100 To Make Your Work From Home Experience Better For You And Those Around You

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